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Your main thing Fri, May 31, 2019
One thing I wanted to add to the topic of removing old monuments of people we no longer revere, is the idea that we tend to boil historic people down to their one or two defining traits.  Person A was the first person to do X; Person B was the leader of thing Y.  History doesn't tend to remember things like Person A went to X elementary school or Person B dated some girl in his teens.  In other words, people are remembered generally for their main thing, not all that superfluous stuff that neither adds nor subtracts from their main thing. 

One of the arguments people use against the removal of these monuments is, "Yeah but good people also do some bad things; should we remove their monuments too?"  They usually mention George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves and/or did other unsavory things.  My point is that these guys are known for their main thing, which is the founding of a country and the writing of a document.  The main thing Robert E. Lee is known for is being the commander of the Confederate army, i.e. the traitorous group of southern states that attempted to secede so they wouldn't have to obey the laws of the north.  Regardless of the lesser-known things these men did, they're remembered for their most significant achievements.  So no, we shouldn't remove monuments for people who did a good main thing but also maybe did an objectionable other thing.  Also we shouldn't judge the actions of history by the views of the present. #politics


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